The Perfect-for-Anyone-on-Your-List Talking Shop Gift Guide

Gift-giving is one of my favorite things.

I really geek out over the opportunity to seek out and select a gift for someone special — based on their personality and passions. It brings me a lot of joy. This past year, as I’ve started the Talking Shop series, I’ve realized that so many of the incredible people I’ve interviewed are makers of such amazing products, services, and events that I just can’t help but share them with others.

So as we prepare to enter the holiday season and share gifts with those we love, make gift-giving a joy with the creations of Talking Shop alumni. I’ve rounded up their awe-inspiring talents into this handy list that will help you give a one-of-a-kind gift to everyone on your list, no matter your budget. (Plus, I may or may not give you hints on upcoming Talking Shop features!) Skip the predictable, lame-o presents and share the work of Talking Shop’s gold-star makers.

Don’t know what to get for friends, family, or your spouse? No problem.

For Friends

Whether you’re shopping for your ride-or-die BFF or a casual co-worker, these gifts are sure to make standout friends presents.

  • Moments by Mae custom ornament: Nothing is more meaningful than a custom gift that connects your recipient to important people or moments in their life. With a unique and personal touch, the art of Leslie Alder of shop Moments by Mae helps you give meaningful, one-of-a-kind, and timeless gifts. Prices vary.
  • Print from papercraft goddess @heyykristen. Wow your friends with the magic that is Kristen’s papercrafting. Choose a pop culture-inspired print (like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before or Skam) and gift a truly unique handicraft. Prices vary.
  • Papercraft Letter Print by Artist Matisse Hales. Forget lame art or a cheesy motivational poster. Gift your friend a one-of-a-kind art print for their wall or office by paper crafter and artist Matisse Hales. $10-32
  • Take them to a Mckay Lenker Bayer-original Tiny Art Show. Inspire your friends with a new kind of art experience — a Tiny Art Show exhibit. Don’t live close to Utah County? DM the Tiny Art Show Instagram to purchase a Mini Kit to host a Tiny Art Show wherever you are! Plus, Tiny Art Show is expanding. Be on the lookout for bite-sized art shows coming to an area near you soon. Prices vary.
  • Kick-A Skane Design merch. Designer and creator Jordan Greene of studio Skane Design has a good eye. You can too with a one-of-a-kind swag gift for friends featuring his unique design work. $5-45
  • Quality (and cute!!!) book protection from Book Beau: Forget always having your smartphone on hand — I’m about having a book nearby 24/7. For those friends who are always toting around the latest tome, gift them quality (and super cute) protection for their books and/or e-readers. Book Beau covers keep books safe in a padded sleeve — and come in various sizes and designs. $15-30
  • Custom Lettered Print by Amy Keim of For Letter or Worse: Not only is Amy my BFF, but she is super funny, smart, beautiful, and talented. I love following her lettering projects — they give me allll the heart eyes. Get a custom lettering print of your friend’s favorite movie quote or song lyrics, or a motivational quote for a co-worker. DM her lettering account for custom orders and pricing.
  • Longhand Pencils: Did you know that in addition to wrangling twins and writing, I also sling pencils? Inspired by pop culture and fun phrases, these foil-stamped pencils sets are fun collectibles for friends — no matter their interests. You can even do custom orders! $3-25

For Family

Don’t know what to get that family member that has everything? No, you don’t have to default to a standard gift card. Try these unique ideas from Talking Shop alumni.

  • A powerful and sweet family read by children’s author, Jessie Oliveros. The Remember Balloons is a tender telling of a child’s experience with his grandfather’s Alzheimers. This beautiful book connects families with heartfelt storytelling. $10.99
  • A kid-approved family history board book by Cuento Books: Preserve family history and create meaningful connections with customized board books about your family. Personal and perfect for little hands. And hey, it’s proven — children benefit from learning about their ancestors. $60-75
  • A lifesaving, take-it-anywhere gift for a new mom. ROCKEASE, created by mom Jenna Zielbauer, offers new parents the comfort and ease of a rocking chair — anywhere. These portable, fit-in-your-bag rails convert any standard 4-legged chair into a rocking chair in as little as 20 seconds, giving parents access to convenient soothing for baby on the go. $99

For Your Spouse

It’s time to KNOW YA’ BOO. (Anyone?) Win Wife — or Husband — of the Year Award with these out-of-the-box gift ideas for your #1.

  • A one-of-a-kind anniversary photoshoot with Emily Kim. Gift a timeless experience that you can cherish for years to come — a photoshoot celebrating you and your spouse’s anniversary. Her dreamy style and incredible talent guarantee you a meaningful photo experience and treasured pictures to frame forever. Not located in Minneapolis? Bring her to you or gift a friend (or your spouse) Emily’s collection of monthly doodles. Allll the heart eyes. Travel available at additional cost, contact for pricing. Doodles $5 a month.

photoshoot maddie everett

For Yourself

‘Cause hey, it’s important to TREAT YO’ SELF.

  • A swoon-worthy new read by YA romance author Tiana Smith. Books are the best gifts, in my opinion. Reward yourself with the gift of unplugged escapism (and a heart-eyed, You’ve Got Mail-esque love story) with the new novel from YA romance author Tiana Smith. $17.99
Stack of "How to Speak Boy" by Tiana Smith on a table with flowers
  • Membership in a super cool, super chill book club. Want to read more books and be apart of a literary community without the pressure of “homework” or forced social interaction? If you’re looking for a nontraditional book club experience that feeds your introversion, join a local chapter of the Silent Book Club and get reading. Not only will the time set apart to read be a gift to yourself and your intellect, but the low-pressure environment (re: no assigned readings, no discussion questions to prepare for, everyone reads what they want to) provides a comfortable place to relax among other book lovers for the night out. Free.
  • Treasured family traditions. Is there really a better gift than meaningful time spent with those you love? Treasured Times by Jaryn Mcgrath will inspire you to connect and create lasting memories with family and friends, cultivating a more imperfect, slow, and present lifestyle. Chock-full of seasonal ideas and recipes, this book will help you deliberately choose time and tradition in the coming year. $21.24
Jaryn McGrath Treasured Times
  • The space to write your own story. Taught by writer Ashmae Hoiland, the Mine To Tell writing courses can help you articulate your story — it deserves to be told, and there is true power that comes from that journey. Class offerings include “The Creative Hour,” “Writing the Body,” and “Mine to Tell.” Class prices vary.
  • Eye-catching design services by Melissa Taylor Design. Looking for a great family card to send, a new website logo, or materials for your budding business? Get quality design services by freelance graphic designer Melissa Taylor and turn alllll the heads. Contact for pricing.
  • A fancy-schmancy manicure by artist and designer nail appointment Meagan Knight of Tiny Brushes. Her nail art is UNREAL. Plus, she’s done nails for NYFW, so she’s kiiiind of a big deal. Don’t live in LA? Get some nail polish and DIY-it at home! Prices vary, contact to book.
  • An organized new year with a customizable Golden Coil planner. If you’re wanting to get yourself more together come 2020 (don’t we all?), do it on your terms. Run by sisters Trisha and Michelle, Golden Coil offers beautifully-bound planners and notebooks in a range of designs and textures and allows you to outfit interior pages with the calendar layouts and features that you want — whether it be baby charts, finance tracking, to-do lists, and more. With high-quality paper, professional binding, and gorgeous covers, these tailored planners help you enter the new year at the top of your game — and make you look good while doing it. Planners and notebooks, $62.00 – $79.60.

Check out past Talking Shop features here.

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